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Mrs. Browning: With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, my remarks on the motion will be very brief. I am grateful to the Opposition for their generosity. Despite my reassurances to the contrary, a feeling has developed during tonight's debate that somehow the Government are anti- breast-feeding. I agree with everything that has been said about the benefits of breast-feeding. The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Carlile) mentioned those benefits and I assure him that I do not disagree for one minute with what he said. [Interruption.] Yes, he was bottle -fed. I understand the great strength of feeling that this issue generates, but let me reassure the House that the Government remain committed to the promotion and the protection of breast-feeding as the best means of nurturing a baby. I remain convinced that mothers have the intelligence to decide for themselves what is best for their baby. If they cannot breast- feed or there comes a time when the baby moves from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding, it is important that mothers have informed choices. It is quite appropriate that the information should be given to them by the health care professionals to whom the information is disseminated.

I repeat the central point, and perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) will note this: the controls on advertising that are laid down in the regulations are just the same as those that we have had for the past 12 years under our voluntary code. There has been no relaxation in the measures. The essential change is that, with the regulations, there will be statutory backing for those controls, and without them there will not. Those who are concerned about breast-feeding should welcome that change. I commend the regulations to the House.

Question put :--

The House divided: Ayes 233, Noes 258.


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Division No. 128] [10.05 pm

AYES


Column 1640

Abbott, Ms Diane

Adams, Mrs Irene

Ainger, Nick

Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)

Allen, Graham

Alton, David

Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)

Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)

Armstrong, Hilary

Ashton, Joe

Austin-Walker, John

Banks, Tony (Newham NW)

Barron, Kevin

Battle, John

Bayley, Hugh

Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret

Beggs, Roy

Bell, Stuart

Benn, Rt Hon Tony

Bennett, Andrew F

Benton, Joe

Bermingham, Gerald

Berry, Roger

Betts, Clive

Blunkett, David

Boateng, Paul

Bradley, Keith

Bray, Dr Jeremy

Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)

Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)

Burden, Richard

Byers, Stephen

Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)

Campbell-Savours, D N

Canavan, Dennis

Carlile, Alexander (Montgomery)

Chidgey, David

Chisholm, Malcolm

Church, Judith

Clapham, Michael

Clark, Dr David (South Shields)

Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)

Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)

Clelland, David

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Coffey, Ann

Cook, Frank (Stockton N)

Cook, Robin (Livingston)

Corbett, Robin

Corbyn, Jeremy

Corston, Jean

Cousins, Jim

Cummings, John

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)

Dafis, Cynog

Darling, Alistair

Davidson, Ian

Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)

Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)

Denham, John

Dewar, Donald

Dixon, Don

Dobson, Frank

Donohoe, Brian H

Dowd, Jim

Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eastham, Ken

Etherington, Bill

Ewing, Mrs Margaret

Fatchett, Derek


Column 1640

Field, Frank (Birkenhead)

Fisher, Mark

Flynn, Paul

Foster, Rt Hon Derek

Foster, Don (Bath)

Fraser, John

Galbraith, Sam

Gapes, Mike

Garrett, John

George, Bruce

Gerrard, Neil

Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John

Godman, Dr Norman A

Godsiff, Roger

Golding, Mrs Llin

Gordon, Mildred

Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)

Grocott, Bruce

Gunnell, John

Hain, Peter

Hall, Mike

Hanson, David

Hardy, Peter

Harman, Ms Harriet

Harvey, Nick

Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy

Henderson, Doug

Heppell, John

Hill, Keith (Streatham)

Hinchliffe, David

Hodge, Margaret

Hoey, Kate

Home Robertson, John

Hoon, Geoffrey

Howarth, George (Knowsley North)

Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)

Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)

Hutton, John

Illsley, Eric

Ingram, Adam

Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)

Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)

Jamieson, David

Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)

Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)

Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)

Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)

Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)

Jowell, Tessa

Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald

Keen, Alan

Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)

Khabra, Piara S

Kilfoyle, Peter

Lestor, Joan (Eccles)

Lewis, Terry

Liddell, Mrs Helen

Litherland, Robert

Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)

Llwyd, Elfyn

Loyden, Eddie

Lynne, Ms Liz

McAvoy, Thomas

McCartney, Ian

Macdonald, Calum

Mackinlay, Andrew

Maclennan, Robert

McMaster, Gordon

McNamara, Kevin

MacShane, Denis


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